Most techno artists think they have a good sense of humor, but they really don’t, due to the fact that they hardly ever leave their parents’ basements. So it’s rare to find TRS-80, three Chicago smartasses who can kick out the jams as well as be humorous as hell. Except for one problem — which I’ll talk about in paragraph three — this is the best (and funniest) techno I’ve heard all year.
Things start off weird, with some messed-up dialogue about “That wonderful thing we so often call American Music” and “Don’t forget about those who are in love” — this turns into a groovy robot sexfest called “Que Pasa USA,” and it cranks like Pizzicato Five taking acid with Squarepusher. Longer tracks like “Fantasy Football is Stupid” (which goes from ambient drone to heavy-metal riffage and back again) and the very Autechrey-but-you-can-dance-to-it “Arnold Palmer” are balanced nicely with little snippets like “TRS-80 Fight Song” and “I’m So Happy,” which make you laugh and stuff. And this is the first record to sample shitty inspirational speeches from Making The Band, so I’m all about that piece of comedy right there.
Big problem, though: TRS-80 needs to put away their copy of DJ Shadow’s ….Endtroducing and never ever listen to it again. “Terrible Monster Attacking My Crew” might as well just be “What Does Your Soul Look Like? Part 12,” and “American Smooth Division” sounds like more of the same. This was okay as long as Shadow was hiding, but he’s got his brand-new album coming out in June, so it’s time to stop raiding his tomb and come out with some new shit, there, TRS-80. You know, like the rest of your album. Which is, in fact, Mr. Kickass.